Scotland’s Gardens, Islands, and Castles

I am traveling to Scotland in July and am very excited about seeing parts of Scotland that I haven’t seen before and visiting favorites that I want to go back and see. I will be leading a small group of intrepid travelers, some new and many repeats of my previous tours.

Edinburgh is a charming walkable city
Bagpipers are everywhere in Edinburgh
Alnick Castle- photo by Amy Sparwasser

My garden tours are much more than just visiting gardens. I also include top museums, cathedrals, Royal castles, whiskey distillery tastings, and excellent food and lodgings. I am particularly looking forward to visiting the the Inner Hebridean Islands of the Isle of Mull, Staffa and Fingal’s Cave where we might even spot some puffins! The island of Iona with the ancient Iona Abbey established in 563 AD is also included.

Of course, no tour to Scotland would be complete without visiting the Highlands.  We will be staying in Inverness at the luxurious Kingsmills Hotel.

Inverness has a wonderful botanical garden
The Kingsmill Hotel

The exciting city of Dundee is on my itinerary and when I was there a few years ago, they were in the midst of construction of the Victoria and Albert museum which is supposed to resemble steep Scottish cliffs perched over the water. Just recently opened, I can’t wait to tour this wonderful annex of the museum in London.

Castles & Gardens

We visit the best of the best Scottish gardens.  Alnick Castle is actually not in Scotland, but right over the border in the UK in Northumberland. But I couldn’t resist adding this to our itinerary as it is one of the most iconic British castles with wonderful gardens and history. Featured in Harry Potter films and Downton Abbey, you might even have seen it already.

Alnick Castle gardens have fabulous delphiniums-photo by Amy Sparwasser

The Poison Garden is a great draw for people and is a small but deadly garden filled exclusively with around 100 toxic, intoxicating, and narcotic plants.

Entrance to the Poison Garden – photo by Amy Sparwasser
Alnick Castle-photo by Amy Sparwasser

Floors Castle in the Scottish Borders is another notable castle and garden which I am returning to. Called the gem of the Scottish Borders, this is the largest inhabited castle and I was enchanted with the huge walled garden on my first visit and am anxious to return.

Entrance to the walled garden at Floors
The borders at Floors are stunning
Floors Castle

Broadwoodside Gardens is a repeat for me and deservedly so. Described  in a magazine article as:

This is one of Scotland’s finest contemporary private gardens, with excellent structure, imaginative use of objects, and some of the most eye-catching planting in Scotland … Cutting-edge garden design combined with imaginative planting; who could ask for more?’ Kenneth Cox, Scotland for Gardeners, 2014

Broadwoodside Gardens
Love this door!
The skeleton of Crambe is left up to provide structure at Broadwoodside
Agapanthus at Broadwoodside


These are just the highlights of our journey. Come join me! Here is the full itinerary:

Scotland Tour 2022

3 Replies to “Scotland’s Gardens, Islands, and Castles”

  1. I missed seeing so much when I went to Scotland years ago! Wish I could go with you, but alas, I can’t..
    Have a fabulous time and post lots of pictures when you get back!

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